If you are a parent of an active child (or children), you know it can be tough to slow them down. Because of this, today, Dr. Timothy Barry of Family Foot & Ankle Care of Jasper in Dubois County is sharing ways to avoid children’s foot and ankle injuries. Children are very resilient, and they typically heal quickly – but that doesn’t make them indestructible!

Here are 6 ways you can help children maintain healthy, pain-free ankles and feet:

  1. Schedule a pre-season physical. Even before the season begins, get your child examined by a physician. Everything will probably be fine. Sometimes the doctor may find areas of concern and prepare you to manage the condition appropriately.
  2. Buy them the correct shoes. Children should wear sport-specific shoes that fit correctly so they can handle the physical aspects of the sport in which they’ll be participating. For the right fit, take your child to an athletic shoe store and have both feet measured before trying on any shoes.
  3. If possible, consider getting a second pair of shoes. If your child is going to be participating several days in a row, this will let you rotate shoes, which not only sustains their lifetime but also allows them to dry out between uses.
  4. Check the treads on worn shoes. Before you throw away old sneakers, check the soles for uneven wear patterns. If there is excessive wear along the outside or inside edge of the shoe, it may be a sign of a gait abnormality or structural issue, which can lead to future injury and discomfort.
  5. Encourage them to participate in different types of activities. Even if they’re really into a single sport, you can still urge them to get exercise in other ways during their off days. Activities like riding a bike and swimming are great options because there’s a low impact on the ankles and feet.
  6. Teach them proper hygiene. Athletic children’s feet are a magnet for athlete’s foot, warts, and ingrown toenails. Check that your children are washing their feet every day. Help them keep their toenails neatly trimmed. Ensure they change shoes and socks if they get sweaty. Provide non-slip shower shoes to guard their feet when they’re walking in places like a locker room and pool-side.

The most important thing is that you schedule an appointment at the first sign of a problem. If ankle or foot pain is keeping your child off the field, contact the office of Dr. Timothy Barry of Family Foot & Ankle Care of Jasper in Dubois County at (812) 481-7200 immediately to schedule a consultation.